It’s your chance to prove you are the region’s most savvy social media family and win a fantastic family cruise to the Caribbean onboard the world’s most innovative ship.

The Daily Echo has teamed up with Royal Caribbean to offer one local family from Dorset and Hampshire the chance to win a once in a lifetime Caribbean break onboard the marvellous Harmony of the Seas during the half term break – by showing us your Instagram video skills.

All you have to do is create a 30-second video introducing your family members and explain why you should win this fantastic prize. Once your video is ready simply upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #Newsquestcruise and tag @bournemouthecho

Royal Caribbean has always been at the cutting edge of what makes an exciting family holiday, which is why the cruise company were the first to appoint their own Instagrammer-in-Chief: Russ Francis.

Russ’s Instagram skills were spotted by the company when he entered Royal Caribbean’s search for the first Instagram Intern-Ship at sea in 2017.

“For something to be truly Instagrammable it has to be unique enough that people want to show off about it” said Russ.

“It’s so much more than being a pretty setting. Extraordinary Instagram content causes a reaction, whether that’s jaws dropping in amazement or mouths watering at the very best dishes, it’s about capturing experiences that ‘wow’ the viewer.”

Not only does Russ provide Instagram moments to surprise and delight, but he offers valuable tips and advice on how to create the most sensational content.

To help you make the most of your entry for this fantastic competition, here are Russ’s top Instagram tips:

1) Take photos in a square frame - Instagram images appear as a square, so take your Instagram snaps in a square frame. This way, all of your picture will appear in the upload, and you won’t need to crop or zoom to ensure everything fits in.

2) Strong colours, shapes, lines and good lighting - To help your Instagram shot have the WOW factor; make sure it has strong colours and defined shapes and lines. If you’re struggling to make the lighting work and are flexible about timings then return to your shot at the ‘Golden Hour’, the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset, to capture something really shareable.

3) Use negative space - Negative space means the physical space that surrounds your image subject. Instagram photos that have the right mix of negative space and a tangible object can really stand out.

4) Reflections - Reflections are a quick and easy way to get an interesting and unusual effect on your Instagram picture. Water, mirrors and glass are three great surfaces to get you started

5) Use gridlines to balance your shot – Improve snaps by taking the photo outside of the Instagram app and using your phone’s gridlines function. Apply the ‘rule of thirds’ and ensure that compositional elements are placed along the nine lines and their intersections of the grid. Pros claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest than simply centring the subject.

6) Show some personality – Layering on words and stickers to an Instagram Story can add some fun and individuality to your extraordinary shots that usually encourages greater levels of engagement.

7) Use a great caption - These days, it isn’t just about the picture or videos. Captions play a big role in how many likes you get and how people engage with your Instagram content. Use emotive descriptions and humour to connect with your followers.

So what are you waiting for? Get videoing and introduce us to your Instagram family.

What a prize!

Setting sail on Harmony of the Seas, from 17th-24th February (2019), this 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise will sail from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) visiting the beautiful Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the private island destination of Labadee in Haiti which is for the exclusive use of Royal Caribbean guests. While there, fearless family members can soar 500ft down the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line, which is the world’s longest zip wire over water or just relax and get the VIP treatment in a private beachside cabana.

Back onboard the incredible Harmony of the Seas, show fanatics can take in some of the biggest, most incredible entertainment experiences that Royal Caribbean has to offer including the Broadway hit show, Grease, or grab a seat for a blockbuster film poolside at the Outdoor Movie theatre. Or why not take a leisurely stroll along the lush avenues of Central Park which provides a calm oasis at sea featuring tropical plants, trees, seasonal flowers and sweeping paths. Then it’s time to bring the whole family together to enjoy all the fun of the seaside at the Boardwalk, which boasts a stunning original carousel, arcade amusements and carnival games. Return flights and hotel accommodation pre-cruise for the trip are also included.

How to enter

We are looking for social-media-savvy families to upload a 30-second video explaining why they deserve to win the Ultimate Family Holiday.

Stage 1

To enter this great competition simply take a 30-second video of your family telling us why you should win this prize and what it would mean to you to experience a Royal Caribbean holiday. The video should start with a brief overview of your family and who you are (no longer than 10 seconds). For example, we’re the Smiths from Southbourne and we are a family of five with three children.

Once your video is ready simply upload to Instagram with the hashtag #Newsquestcruise tagging @bournemouthecho and get your family and friends to like your post so that you make the shortlist.

Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday 30 September 2018. Our panel of judges will then select their top three families from this shortlist to go forward to stage two of the competition. Don’t forget your Instagram account must be set to public for us to view the video. You could always set up a separate account for the competition entry if you would prefer.

Stage 2

Each of the three finalist families will then be let loose during the October half-term onboard the UK’s favourite cruise ship, Independence of the Seas, following its return to Southampton in May after an amazing multi-million-pound makeover. Dubbed ‘The Ultimate Family Ship’, the spectacular Independence of the Seas has an array of stunning new amped-up experiences and extraordinary features to delight kids and adults alike.

The finalists will see first-hand the host of exciting features onboard, including Sky Pad, the out-of-this-world virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides, Puzzle Break, a new escape room experience and the glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience, ‘Battle for Planet Z’. Also onboard are a whole host of restaurants including Fish & Ships, a poolside eatery, Café Promenade, a pavement-style café, and Izumi Hibachi & Sushi an exotic Asian-inspired dining experience.

Footage from their three families’ visits onboard Independence of the Seas will then be submitted to the panel of judges to view and select their worthy winning family who will be crowned Royal Caribbean International’s official Insta Family and will experience for themselves the ultimate Caribbean family holiday onboard Harmony of the Seas.

Terms and conditions

This competition appears in the Southern Daily Echo, Bournemouth Daily Echo, Dorset Echo, Hampshire Chronicle, Romsey Advertiser, Salisbury Journal and Bridport News and the winner will be chosen from all the entries received. All videos must be submitted via a public Instagram account in order to be viewed and entered into the competition. Families must live within the footprint of the local newspapers promoting this competition and be resident in a SO / BH / DT / SP postcode sector. All entrants must be available to take part in stage two of the competition on the 25th October 2018 and the overall holiday prize as indicated.

The prize shall consist of a Caribbean cruise for a family sharing a stateroom onboard Harmony of the Seas for a seven-night sailing departing Fort Lauderdale, including UK return economy return flights from selected UK airports to Miami- departing on 16 February 2019 and returning to the UK on the morning of 25 February 2019. Prize includes all in destination transfers, cruise gratuities and standard meals onboard (excluding speciality dining).

The winning family will appear in future marketing and promotional activity on behalf of Royal Caribbean and by entering this competition agree that any video submission they make may be used in this way.

Newsquest competition terms and conditions apply see The winner's personal details will be provided to the competition sponsor/s, for the purpose of facilitating the competition prize. For information regarding how we will process, handle and maintain your data please visit Closing date for entries midnight on 30th September 2018.